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Movie Review


Reviewed by: Paul T. Andersen

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
111 minutes

Most of us could benefit from watching a really funny movie once in a while to lighten our spirits. But, if you are searching for a truly hilarious film, I suggest you look elsewhere. Although “Multiplicity” has its funny moments, overall, the comedy falls flat—weighed down with too much crude sexual humor, and a weak script.

This is a rather predictable “be careful what you wish for, you might get it” story. Doug (Michael Keaton, who years earlier starred as a similar personality in “Mr. Mom”) is an everyday guy living a typical high pressure life, trying to balance his obligations at work with those at home. Doug’s life is increasingly frantic, and he is ready to snap. He wishes he could be in more than one place at a time. A medical researcher provides the “miracle” this husband and father needs by providing Doug with an exact duplicate of himself. Being careful to hide the clone from his family, Doug is soon apparently getting twice as much work done and has more free time for himself and his family. But things begin to go very wrong after “Doug #3” and “4” are produced. In the end, the clones drive away after Doug has learned to reorganize his life and shows more love for his wife. As Christians know, God wants us to lead a balanced life—not too much work, not too much play. A badly out-of-balance life leads to frustration, depression and often sin.

Parents should be very cautious about allowing their youngsters or teens to view “Multiplicity”. The humor is mostly adult. There is some foul language, taking of God’s name in vain, and some crude sexual remarks. A urination scene is rather thoroughly acted out. Doug’s two children repeatedly call each other “duty-head.” The wife (Andie MacDowell) gives Doug the finger, in anger, when he asks her to be a stay-at-home mom. Two Dougs are shown dirty-dancing with two party girls alone in their apartment. A sex scene between the wife and Doug #3 strongly suggests that she is touching (and looking at) his genitals under the covers. By the end of the film, the wife has had sex with all three Doug-clones.

Of course, only God has created human beings. The premise of “Multiplicity”—that a full-grown human can be cloned, complete with all memories, in a matter of hours—is quite ridiculous scientifically. Although the producers clearly treat the subject with tongue-in-cheek, it is a bit sad to note the casual flippancy with which the creation of life is treated.

You won’t miss much if you skip “Multiplicity”. Bigger laughs can be found elsewhere. The relatively uninteresting and predictable plot had me glancing at my watch too many times.

Year of Release—1996

Viewer Comments
I agree with the reviewer. There’s a lot of humor in this film and there was the potential for more, but the sexual crudeness spoils any chance to just relax and enjoy it. Also, the concept of human cloning is a dangerous thing, and making a joke of it isn’t a good idea. The writers play with our heads in that when Doug’s wife unknowingly has sex with the clones, it’s made debatable whether it’s wrong, because it hinges on the question of whether clones with full memories are separate persons from the original or not. Since there’s really no such thing as a clone with full memories, it’s a meaningless debate.

Keaton’s acting versatility is amazing—in any given scene, it was usually easy to tell within a few seconds which character he was playing. The moral of the ending, in which Doug #1 finally has to learn to make time for things the old-fashioned way, was right on. And the special effects were near-perfect. But with all the offensiveness, that’s not enough to make the film worthwhile. The reviewer didn’t mention the issue of the last clone not being too sharp because he’s a copy of a copy—in effect they’re making a joke of mental retardation, which is not funny either. This film falls somewhere between “adults-only” and “skip it.” My Ratings: [2/3½]
Brett Willis, age 49